WILLIAM F. EDDY.
William F. Eddy, retired, who makes his home in the Eddy Apart-
ments of Regina, is one of the pioneer settlers of the city and the first
brick mason to locate here. When he arrived in the future capital of
Saskatchewan, in the fall of 1882, he found a city of tents with a popula-
tion of two or three hundred souls. He recalls with amusement that the
first work he had in Regina was the construction of a brick chimney on a
near-by farm house, which was probably the first chimney made of brick
in all Saskatchewan. The years have witnessed the transformation of the
tent colony into a substantial city of brick and stone, lighted with electric-
ity, served with tram cars and possessing all the improvements of a mod-
ern urban community. With this development Mr. Eddy has kept pace. On
a very literal sense he may be regarded as one of the chief builders of
Regina, for he was personally connected with the erection of more than one
of the earlier public and semi-public buildings. He has likewise wrought
in the "things of the spirit," giving his aid and encouragement to those
intangible things which, more than streets and buildings promote the
growth and development of a city. It is to Mr. Eddy and his early asso-
ciates in Regina, their courage, their faith in the future and their loyalty
to the Canadian west, that the city owes its prosperity of the twentieth
century. Born in Newcastle, Ontario, on the 9th of August, 1852, William
F. Eddy is the son and only child of James T. and Mary A. (Clark) Eddy.
His mother was born in what is now Newcastle, but his father's parents
took him into the Ontario woods to live when he was a little child of four.
James T. Eddy was a mason and a builder by occupation. A Liberal in
his political views he entertained very decided opinions upon such mat-
ters, in which he was not easily influenced. His religious faith was that
of the Christian church.
William F. Eddy was educated in the public and high schools of New-
castle and Albert College at Belleville, Ontario, following which he learned
the brick mason's and builder's trade under his father. During the period
of his apprenticeship his father and he erected a number of churches,
including the Christian church at Orono, in 1868; the Bible Christian
church of the same place in 1869; a Presbyterian church at Bowenville
in 1870 and in 1874 a Roman Catholic church at Newmarket. Mr. Eddy
continued to ply his trade in Ontario until 1882, the year of his migration
to the west.
From Ontario Mr. Eddy went to Winnipeg, where he remained from
April to July, leaving there on the 18th of the latter month. By train
he journeyed from Winnipeg to Broadview, thence to Battleford, at that
time the capital of the Northwest Territories, making the last half of the
trip by native pony and buckboard. For two or three weeks he tarried in
Battleford and while there had his first experience in agricultural work,
cutting grain with an old-fashioned cradle. He bargained for a job of
cutting the grain on a four-acre tract at the rate of four dollars an acre,
then sublet the contract to some half-breeds for a dollar and a half an acre.
Eventually he reached Regina-on the 13th of October, 1882. In the town
that was just coming into existence there was plenty of work for an am-
bitious young man, so here Mr. Eddy remained. The following spring
he formed a partnership with George B. Rice and the two men did much
of the early construction work in the city. They plastered the first gov-
ernor's house, the first building put up for the Legislative Assembly and
many other public structures. Mr. Eddy built the first brick house in
Regina for a man by the name of John D. Sibbald and also did the brick
work for the first Presbyterian church.
In 1886 the partnership between Mr. Eddy and Mr. Rice was dis-
solved when the former went back to Newcastle, Onatario, to build a church
in the community where his work was so well known. The west had laid
her spell upon him, however, and the first of May, 1890, found him back
in Regina, with plans for putting into operation an extensive building pro-
ject. Entering into the field of speculative building and contracting, he
put up a large number of houses for sale to newcomers in the city, alway
a profitable undertaking in a growing community. He also did work
the country, erecting brick farm houses for prosperous agriculturists, and
took contracts in Moose Jaw and other towns. In 1897 he built a large
brick residence for Much brothers near Lumsden and at the same time
erected a church on their farm. Before the city water system was in-
stalled in Regina, Mr. Eddy dug several deep wells. The first was sunk
in 1890 and four others were bored shortly afterward, all of them being
carried to a depth of ninety feet. In 1905 Mr. Eddy retired from active
life as a builder, to enjoy the fruits of his years of purposeful activity.
In 1911 he erected a large three-story apartment house, in which he now
lives-the Eddy Apartments.
In 1875 Mr. Eddy was united in marriage to Miss Labernia C. Wether-
well, who died in Regina in 1884, leaving three children: Mabel Winifred,
now the wife of J. B. Hugg, a barrister of Winnipeg; James W. S. Eddy
of Regina, who has continued his father's work as a brick mason; and
Franklin L., a Saskatchewan farmer. In October, 1886, Mr. Eddy was
married to Winifred Vanderwater, a native of Hastings county, Ontario.
She was born on a farm that has been in the family for generations, the
birthplace of her great grandfather, on the paternal side of the family.
Her father, Daniel Vanderwater, who recently passed away at the age of
ninety-four, was born, lived and died on the old homestead. Mr. Eddy
is the proud possessor of ten grandchildren.
A Methodist in his religious faith, Mr. Eddy belongs to the Metropolitan
church, in which Mrs. Eddy is also active as an earnest worker in the
Ladies' Aid Society. He is a life member of Wascana Lodge, A. F. & A.
M., of Regina, and also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Politically he ranks as a Liberal. He has served on the city council of
Regina and was mayor during 1896 and 1897. As a citizen his life has
been exemplary, for he has always done his part toward building up the
community in every way within his power. Here he has amassed a com-
petence and here he has kept his interests, financial and social, thus keep-
ing another name on the list of Regina's worth-while citizens.
Visitor # 886
Web Master: Sask Gen Webmaster,
for Sask Gen Web Project
Re-published ©: Monday, 06-Jan-2003 21:55:06 MST
We encourage links to this page.
These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format
for profit or presentation by any other organization or persons.
Persons or organizations desiring to use this material, must
obtain the written consent of the contributor, or the legal
representative of the submitter, and contact the listed Web
master with proof of this consent.